Personal defense has become a big issue in this country due to rising crime rates, particularly in urban areas. People are taking martial arts classes and buying pepper spray, stun guns, and Tasers. Alarms are doing a good business (entrepreneurs take heed). I am not promoting anything here in today’s blog, but want to point out that as an interior designer, particularly for homes, I have to consider these trends. Good design is surely about the best use of space and lighting, a consistent and friendly décor, complementary colors and textures, and functionality of every detail. You have to envision the needs of the occupants including their special safety concerns. I don’t go so far as to provide a real panic room unless the owners are terrified of unforeseen possibilities. Maybe someone has experienced an assault in the past and is particularly skittish. Otherwise, there are ways to protect oneself in a bedroom, for example, where many home invasions occur.
I talk about good locks and even one on the bedroom door to make it an interior barricade. It is a problem for couples with children who need access to their parents in the event of an emergency. It is something to consider in any case. It is also easy to remove a pane of glass. I have often been asked to put in double thickness in bedrooms. I counsel homeowners to keep windows locked at night and be leery of how easy it is to cut a screen. Bars don’t look nice unless they are in the back of the house or on the sides. They are a bit formidable in front. However, they work to deter aggressors. The world is full of nasty, greedy people and not just on Facebook. You can’t be too cautious.
One idea I invented, or so I believe, is to use a nightstand as a gun safe. This is very practical and a great camouflage technique. It would be on the side of the family member most likely to use the best personal defense weapon to protect their home. Of course, children should not know about it or at least be coached not to open the cabinet door. It should remained locked the same as the safe. There are all too many home accidents. If it is locked, however, the home defender (let’s say the husband and father) might have trouble opening it in a flash. If you keep weapons in a closet or under the bed, you have the same problem. The end table idea works well but may be a point of danger for a family. I like the idea that the gun safe is not staring a robber in the face prompting him to use his own weapon as a kind of reverse self-defense.
If you are a designer or hire a professional, this is an area you might want to address. It is part of my package when I work with a client. Safety is incorporated into all interior design projects, even if it is child proofing. Self-defense is part of modern life.